This title would lend itself to two blog posts: this one and one I’m going to write about a dress I recently made in a fabric called “Captain My Captain”. But I’ll go with the more obvious link and use the title for a post about a pirate coat I made for my nephew.
The pattern I chose was Burda 2452 and I made view A, the coat. I might make him the waistcoat from view B one day too – probably only if I come across some cheap faux leather.
The pattern was very easy to follow and the velvet twill I had ordered from myfabrics.co.uk was lovely to work with. The two projects I had finished before starting the coat were a viscose blouse for my mum and a dress for my sister out of very thick sweatshirt fabric, so the stiffish twill made a nice change. I only had one problem and that came right at the beginning, which is probably a good thing because I would have got pretty stressed if it had happened towards the end of the project, i.e. a day before flying to Germany for Christmas. (Why do I still leave everything so late? I got so stressed I arrived at the airport with an expired passport and got stress-related vertigo two days after Christmas.) The pattern asked for gold braid to be sewn onto the front of the coat, the pocket flaps and the cuffs. I managed to sew some of it onto the pocket flaps but the braid was too thick to turn under the ends, which made me worried it would fall apart eventually and having to cut untidy ends of all the time meant I wouldn’t have had enough for the whole coat. I stuck with the braid for the pockets but decided to try something else for the rest of the coat.
Ages ago I had bought a large pack of thread in all sorts of colours at Lidl. The quality is not great and the thread breaks easily but I found some gold thread in the box. Combined with one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine this made a perfect replacement for gold braid. But it took more than two hours to decorate the front pieces and the cuffs. Two hours! The combination of the intricate stitching and the cheap sewing thread meant I could only go at snail’s pace making this two very boring hours. My eyes were hurting afterwards. I learned that stitching that slowly still doesn’t mean you can take your eyes off the job and read a book for example. (I would have had enough time to read a page per stitching line!) Although you’re making very slow progress, you still have to stitch in a straight line, meaning you still have to concentrate and make sure nothing shifts.
After that excruciating experience everything else was a piece of cake. I only whinged a little bit when I had to sew on the cuffs. That’s the problem with children’s clothes: everything is a lot smaller. I couldn’t fit the small sleeve opening over the machine’s arm so to be able to attach the cuffs to the sleeves I had to stitch inside the sleeve, i.e. in the dark. Amazingly they turned out all right.
Funnily enough, the only thing I had been worried about was pure sewing pleasure: the lining. Before this make I had only lined a shift dress and a short skirt so I was convinced lining a whole jacket would be difficult. But no, not at all. There was a lot of handstitching involved but having fallen slightly out of love with the sewing machine by that point, I really enjoyed sewing the lining in place by hand while watching telly.
And to finish the whole thing off, I attached the labels my friend had made for me as a birthday present:
In this picture you can also see the gold stitching a little bit better.
I guess the only thing left to show you is the lucky boy who got this pirate coat for his birthday.
There he is, the coolest pirate on the block. I’m told the coat has been worn almost daily since my nephew’s birthday and by the looks of it, he’ll be able to wear it for a few years more.
That’s the easy costume for my nephew done. He also likes knights. I wonder how I would make a chain mail shirt….